Former Antitrust Chief Joins Sullivan & Cromwell

Renata B. Hesse, who was head of the Antitrust Division at the Justice Department, is joining Sullivan & Cromwell as a partner in its Washington office, the law firm announced on Monday.

The hiring of Ms. Hesse, 52, is unusual because premier firms like Sullivan & Cromwell rarely hire partners from outside. Typically, they engage newly graduated lawyers who are trained and promoted inside the firm rather than outside its confines.

The hiring comes as many major firms gear up for an increase in complex, cross-border mergers, which are a specialty of Sullivan & Cromwell. Such firms are seeking to become “one-stop shops” for every aspect of mergers in a wide range of industries, including health care, technology, energy, and banking and financial services.

“Renata brings to S.&C. deep and highly relevant government experience, further strengthening our world-class antitrust practice,” said Joseph C. Shenker, chairman of the firm, which has 875 lawyers in New York and elsewhere around the globe. Among its clients are Bayer of Germany in its planned $66 billion acquisition of the American agriculture behemoth Monsanto.

Ms. Hesse, considered a pre-eminent high-technology antitrust attorney, was acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division until January. She served twice in that position, and she also was deputy assistant attorney general of that division for four years. She was involved in the proposed Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger as well as the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. She also had oversight of the Antitrust Division’s criminal program.

Earlier, she was senior counsel to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, advising on transactions seeking the agency’s approval.

“I’m delighted to add my experience and relationships to the S.&C. team, to help further develop the firm’s antitrust and merger clearance capabilities and…

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